Judge denies broad access to church abuse documents

Duluth News Tribune

By Tom Olsen

A judge has denied a bid by alleged child-sexual-abuse victims to obtain broader access to documents maintained by the Diocese of Duluth.

In an order filed last week, 6th Judicial District Chief Judge Shaun Floerke ruled that an accuser suing the diocese is entitled only to documents related to abuse that is alleged to have occurred between 1956 and 1974.

The order appears to have little practical effect, as a judge in Ramsey County earlier this year ordered the diocese to turn over all abuse documents from 1978 and earlier.

Attorneys representing Doe 28, an unidentified man suing the diocese over alleged abuse by a priest in the early 1970s, asked Floerke in May to order a full release of abuse documents as part of the discovery process, asserting that information could be relevant to their negligence claims.

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